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Stevey’s final preparations for Man v Horse challenge

Thursday, 29 June 2017

ARMAGH endurance athlete Stevey McGeown is putting the finishing touches to his preparations for his latest extreme charity fundraiser.

Ballyards native Stevey has completed a number of significant challenges over the last two years, including running 100 marathons in 100 days and an incredible 60 ultra marathons in 60 days.

However, this time Stevey will be running for 24 hours non-stop, starting at 2pm on Friday, June 30, but that doesn't tell half the story.

Stevey won't just be racing against the clock, he will be racing against several horses over the 24 hour period.

The 'Man v Horse' challenge is part of a family fun festival which is taking place in the Palace Demesne on June 30 and July 1.

Stevey's latest challenge will also see him to continue working with 'Run for Autism HAND' - a charity which helps those living with autism and their families in the Armagh area and he hopes to once again raise awareness and funds for a charity that is incredibly close to his heart.

"On my last challenge I was thinking to myself that I'd like to base my next one in Armagh itself.

"It is the area where I always get the best support and I am looking forward to seeing everyone coming out and getting involved.

"The charity is based in Armagh and our local autism centres need every penny they can get and I hope to raise as much money as possible for them." Stevey is no stranger to preparing for endurance races, but he admitted that he has had to undergo a different type of training for his latest challenge.

"I've been going on plenty of 30 mile runs, but two of the most important aspects of my training have been just staying on my feet for long periods of time and keeping myself awake.

"The last seven weeks I have tried to keep myself awake for anything between 36 and 42 hours and that has been difficult but it is something I have had to prepare for." The Ballyards athlete said he is hoping that the weather stays kinds for the people coming out to support him, run alongside him and compete against several horses.

"All we are hoping now is that the weather stays kind for 24 hours. A nice mild, dry day would suit me right down to the ground and it would allow people to come up to the Palace and enjoy in the all the fun packed family day out." It isn't every day that you go head to head with a horse and Stevey said he is looking forward to this unique challenge.

"I came up with the idea when I was running around Ireland the last time.

"In my head during that challenge I was chasing a stag, but I didn't think racing a stag would be too safe, so we settled for a horse.

"I would really appreciate anyone who wants to come along and run laps with me, run a 10k, 5k, marathon or several marathon. Every little really will help me and the charity" One of the jockeys going up against Stevey will be Newtownhamilton jockey Brian Hughes. Hughes is taking time out of his busy schedule to go head to head with Stevey.

It promises to be a fun filled weekend at the Palace Demesne, with a fancy dress parade, balloon launch and live entertainment from a host of local artists, dance groups and choirs.

As well as all that there will be plenty for all the family with trade and craft stalls, face painting, balloon modelling, magicians, pony rides, a children's train and a fun fair.

The weekend concludes with a barbecue and live country music and dance where Susan McCann will be joined by a host of country stars at Armagh City Hotel on Saturday, July 1 at 7.30pm.

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